It’s your Source Embroidery Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League Power Rankings for Dec. 15, 2021.
1. Humboldt Broncos (25-8-0-0) – 2nd last week – The Broncos have picked up three wins in a row, but none were bigger than a 4-1 victory over the Estevan Bruins on Saturday. The Broncos and Bruins have wrapped up their four game season series, with the green and gold winning three of four. Connor McGrath has also overtaken Mark Rumsey in the SJHL scoring race.
2. Estevan Bruins (23-6-1-1) – 1st last week – The loss to the Broncos was only their third defeat since November 7th, and their second regulation road loss all season long. First place in multiple categories including goals against, powerplay, penalty kill, and goal differential (+73). It’s as hard of a team to beat on any given night in the league. They are also running through their division with an undefeated 14-0 record against their division rival foes.
3. Flin Flon Bombers (20-9-0-1) – 3rd last week – The Bombers stand pat at third and hold off the Battelfords North Stars and Melfort Mustangs for another week, but it is as close as it gets. All three teams are currently tied with 41 points. The only team the Bombers have a sub .500 record to is the Estevan Bruins.
4. Melfort Mustangs (18-9-1-4) – 5th last week – After making a pair of huge splashes acquiring two captains in Nolan Doell and Mark Snarr, the Mustangs needed some time to gel. Losers of five straight following the trades, the Mustangs have now rattled off five straight wins. Nolan Doell has found his groove. However, Mark Snarr has been lost to injury for the time being.
5. Battlefords North Stars (18-8-4-1) – 4th last week – It’s been a story of two teams over the past month. They picked up a 7-game winning streak from November 6-26, but then followed that with a 5-game losing streak. The recent slide drops them below the Mustangs. They have most recently snapped the skid with a 5-3 victory over the Notre Dame Hounds on Tuesday. There’s still no debating the North Stars are among the league’s upper echelon.
6. Yorkton Terriers (14-13-1-3) – 6th last week – The Terriers have been in 17 one-goal games this season, more than any other team in the SJHL. It was a bit of a slower start, coming out on the wrong side of a lot of those games. However, things are projecting upwards and fast. 6-2-1-1 in their past 10 games. The addition of Zach McIntyre should also help bolster the goal scoring and powerplay. Kael DePape continues to be one of the best 18-year-old goalies this league has seen in recent memory.
7. Notre Dame Hounds (14-12-2-1) – 7th last week – The Hounds have split up the line of Anderson, Dutil, and Nolan. We’ll see if that can provided a more sustained balanced attack moving forward. The Christmas break may be coming at a perfect time for a rest and reset for the young Hounds. They have allowed 23 goals combined in their past four games en route to a 1-3 record.
8. La Ronge Ice Wolves (13-16-1-2) – 8th last week – Xavier Cannon has been a big part of it, but the Ice Wolves continue to claw their way back into the playoff picture. Their starting netminder had some injury concerns but is now 6-1 in his last 7 starts. When healthy, he’s one of the best goaltenders in the league. La Ronge is currently tied with Nipawin with 29 points for the 8th and final playoff spot.
9. Nipawin Hawks (12-14-0-5) – 11th last week – Interim Head Coach Tad Kozun picked up his first two career victories this past week, defeating tough teams in the North Stars and the Terriers. The ability to score goals is still an issue they will need to solve, but if it was a culture change that was needed to get the most out of this Hawks team, we’ll see if the young coach in Kozun can do it.
10. Melville Millionaires (8-15-7-0) – 10th last week – 7 losses in overtime are the most in the SJHL. On the flipside, its valuable points that will be imperative for a playoff push after the holiday break. The Millionaires need to find a way to improve their special teams. A combined percentage of 88.4% (12.1% PP, 76.3% PK) is the worst in the league.
11. Kindersley Klippers (12-17-0-1) – 9th last week – The Klippers have shown signs of a team that can make some noise, they just haven’t brought it on a consistent basis. They have some nice young pieces in Tylin Hilbig and Logan Linklater. They also have the worst PP in the league at just 11.2%. Another team in need of the Christmas break, the Klippers have been outscored 21-9 in their recent three game losing streak.
12. Weyburn Red Wings (8-19-3-0) – 12th last week – Give credit to the Red Wings who picked up a huge upset win over the Flin Flon Bombers on the road this weekend. Flin Flon did bounce back the following day handing the Red Wings their 19th regulation loss this season, the most in the SJHL. It may be time to expect some moves sooner or later with top tier veteran players in an attempt to re-stock the prospect cupboards in a rebuild.